Alternative Credentials Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon
Alternative credentials are definitely here to stay, according to higher education experts who spoke during a recent Economic Development of The Conference Board briefing.
The president of Western Governors University, Scott Pulsipher, told the committee that “two-thirds of jobs are going to require some postsecondary credential, while only about 42% of adults currently have any postsecondary credential of any sort,” Shalina Chatlani wrote in Education Dive.
In a shifting world where employers increasingly need workers wth specific technological knowledge, it’s incombant upon traditional learning institutions to provide options, or a so-called “booster shot” for those who are already in the workforce.
Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, made it clear that graduates are no longer being assessed by a two or four-year degree alone. The explosion of technology and the rising gig economy has changed the game, and many employers now value competency based credentials over a paper degree.
It’s a reality that means “both universities and nontraditional providers are going to have to figure out how to deliver this kind of education that adults are pursuing,” and that might mean buying into the idea of a “stackable degree,” said Pulsipher.
He said that the only option is for higher education to keep up “The whole notion of the stackable credential is going to become real,” he said, “and we’ll no longer talk about a four-year grad rate, because if I just scaffold my credentials, that may take 20 years.”